I think every entrepreneur who starts a business dreams of the day they can sit on the beach and watch the dollar bills roll in. “Passive income” at its finest right? Well folks, that day on the beach is possible, but with no shortage of systems, and some good old fashioned elbow grease.
First of all, let me tell you whoever dubbed all digital products that could be sold to the masses “passive” should get a glitter bomb to the face. They sound magical. Like unicorns of the online business world. However they are work, a lot of freaking work.
When Emylee and I first discussed saying no to clients in exchange for this passive income lifestyle I had NO CLUE what we were getting ourselves into.
Our days that were once filled with client meetings, print deadlines, and all day photo sessions became outlining, and writing and recording marathons. If we wanted this life to actually be possible we had to stop doubting, forget wishy-washy and commit to making it work.
In January of 2016 we made more money than we ever had. EVER! Watching 20k roll into your bank account is no small feat especially after being in business only four and a half months. But instead of champagne and confetti we traded tears and heartfelt conversations. Running a business 100% dependent on clients meant we still had bosses who weren’t us. It meant our time was tied directly to how much profit we could earn. We were worn out, burnt out, and damn near ready to throw in the towel. Something had to give.
Saying No to Paying Clients
The first time we said no to a paying client I nearly wanted to vomit. All my years of education, two lay offs, and selling Plasma to pay rent meant saying NO to money was something I just didn’t do. Why on God’s green earth would you say NO to someone who was willing to write you a check?!
But saying no meant we had time. Time we would otherwise be spending on those exact same clients. Time to set up systems. Time to create courses. Time to think and plan and strategize. For the first time in nearly a year I had time to breathe, eat, sleep and think.
I knew it was what was best for us in the long run, but it definitely took my fair share of pep talks from Emylee to be convinced.
I’d love to sit here and tell you just how well laid this plan was, that we had it all figured out, that we knew when we’d break even and when we would make money, but we didn’t. This was uncharted territory. This was completely replacing the single largest part of our income stream. Sure, we had other forms of income in place. We’d been making affiliate commissions for awhile, but these were chump change in comparison to what we needed to provide for two families.
What we did know was what worked and what didn’t.
Every single time we had a webinar, we made money. So we had more webinars.
Every single time we reminded someone to buy, whether through email or social media, we made more money. So we created more content.
Every single time we launched, we made money. So we launched WAY more often.
So here is what I am NOT suggesting.
Follow our path and expect the same results.
Put all your eggs in one basket.
Completely change your whole business strategy overnight.
Completely change every system you have currently setup in your business.
We made a lot of mistakes along the way. Probably why we made damn near zero dollars in March and then went on to double our sales from June to July.
Make a Plan & Stay Flexible
All well laid plans fail. You have to make a plan, and then stay flexible. We highly suggest you map out your year. Set some reachable goals and set some that will stretch you in many ways. Write them down and tell the world what you want.
But the only way those goals become attainable is by chipping away at them day after day. Our plans were a giant #hotmess of sticky notes and fancy gold notebooks until we discovered how to use Trello. And then we were able to make a roadmap, a process, a system to get these things accomplished and it worked.
We were able to go from crying blubbering messes to $103k in eight short months. We were able to say no to clients. We were able to sit on the beach and hear our phone cha-ching from passive sales. We were able to make money every single day because we put in the work and are now reaping the rewards.
We didn’t expect overnight success. We invested slowly in systems that helped our business grow - but only after it made sense. We kept our overhead as low as possible, so even if we didn’t sell a lot, we would always at least break even.
Where to Start
Before you throw in the towel on what’s working we encourage you to explore other options. What product can you add to your existing lineup that wouldn’t be a complete shocker to your current audience.
Then develop the idea. Plan a launch and generate some buzz. Here are 24 ridiculously useful tips to get your started.